Dismissal on failed polygraph test

Workplace dismissal based on results of a failed polygraph test alone.

In the case of Mustek Ltd v Tsabadi NO & Others the Labour Court heard a case of dismissal based solely on polygraph test results.

If an employee is dismissed, after a disciplinary hearing was held, based on polygraph test results, the question arises whether such dismissal was fair.

Substantial fairness must prevail, meaning that all the facts / evidence of the case must be properly entertained (holistic view) by the presiding officer in a disciplinary hearing. A polygraph does not directly measure deception or lying. Instead it relies on the examiner drawing an inference from the physiological activity that it records.

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